Parking Your Car
Finding a spot to park your car can be frustrating in Sydney. But living in a strata situation adds a unique perspective to parking your car. At Netstrata, we find there are two main areas that cause grief for strata residents: the first area is drivers who park without permission in a resident’s designated space and the second is drivers who park in a visitor’s car space for a longer period than what would be considered socially acceptable.
As a resident, if you’re faced with either of these scenarios, we recommend that you take the following course of action.
Your Car Space
In most cases, if a car has been parked in your dedicated spot then it’s been parked there by mistake. Many strata car parks don’t mark the individual spaces with the unit numbers to protect the safety of the residents. As an initial course of action, we suggest placing a note under the wind-screen wiper, pointing out the error to the car owner. We find that when the car owner returns, an apology generally follows and they won’t park in your space again.
It’s very important to note that while the car may be parked on your ‘property,’ the vehicle belongs to someone else. Therefore, do not have the wheels of the offending car clamped – as this is illegal. And while it might be tempting to have the car towed away, this is not advisable because if the car is damaged during the towing process, you will be responsible for the repairs.
If the situation isn’t resolved with a simple note, the next step would be to call the police and seek their assistance in resolving the situation.
Car owners who abuse the common property visitor parking is a contentious issue in a strata situation. Some strata schemes set a time limit on visitor parking, while other schemes trust that lot owners and their visitors won’t outstay their welcome.
The standard By-Law 1 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 states that, “An owner or occupier of a lot must not park or stand any motor or other vehicle on common property except with the written approval of the owners corporation.”
Many strata schemes in Sydney have adopted this by-law prohibiting apartment owners from using the visitor’s space without permission.
For visitors to the property, there isn’t any Government legislation regulating the use of the visitor’s parking. In general, the time limit and regularity for people using the spaces in the visitor’s car park is up to the Owners Corporation.
At Netstrata, we take the view that the visitor’s parking is just that. It is parking spaces for the use of family and friends visiting owners and tenants of the strata scheme. In most cases, guests generally stay for an afternoon or an evening and then vacate the space for others to use. If your strata scheme has a special by-law that caps the time limit on visitor parking, then it’s your responsibility to ensure your visitors obey this time limit.
If you believe that someone is abusing the visitor’s parking space in your scheme, then we recommend the following course of action.
In the first instance, you should address the issue with the car owner either directly if you know who they are or by placing a note under their windscreen wipers. If this fails to resolve the situation, then the next step would be to take photographs to document the abuse and present the evidence to the Owners Corporation.
If the Owners Corporation agree that there has been an abuse of the visitor’s parking, the Owners Corporation can pursue the issue with the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal; where the offender, if found in breach, can be issued with a fine.
If you have any questions about parking on common property, contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.